Where Does Nick Foles Rank Among Top Quarterbacks?BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Monday, June 16th, 2014
1. Peyton Manning: Delivered his best season in the pros to date last season, throwing nearly 5,500 yards and an NFL-record 55 touchdowns. He may not have much time left in the league, but he’s showed very little signs of wearing down.
2. Aaron Rodgers: Had a down year statistically due to injury, but he should be back among the league leaders in passing this season. For years, Rodgers led the high-powered Green Bay offense with no quality running game, and this year he’ll have a chance to show what he can do playing with Eddie Lacy for a full season.
3. Drew Brees: Brees is the heart and soul of New Orleans, and makes the guys around him better. He puts up tremendous statistics every year, and succeeds despite having an inconsistent running game. The only thing that prevents him from going any higher is that he’s a lock to throw a decent number of interceptions every year.
4. Tom Brady: Brady makes the New England offense dangerous as long as he’s in the lineup. His touchdown numbers did take a noticeable dip last season, throwing for just 25, his lowest total since 2006 (not counting 2008, the year he missed due to injury) and the first time he’s thrown less than 30 since 2009.
5. Russel Wilson: He’s thrown 52 touchdowns and 19 interceptions and won a Super Bowl in his first two years. And that’s with a pretty average group of receivers around him. He’s already accomplished so much, and he’s got a very exciting future ahead of him.
6. Andrew Luck: Luck has been the driving force in the quick turnaround of the Indianapolis Colts. He cut his interception total from 18 in his rookie year to nine last season. Also showed the ability to bring the Colts back in impossible situations, overcoming an enormous deficit in the playoff victory against the Chiefs.
7. Colin Kaepernick: Kaepernick has some of the highest upside that I’ve ever seen. He’s got an absolute cannon of an arm, and can also beat you with his feet. Unlike a lot of mobile quarterbacks, he’s also got a big enough frame to take more of a pounding. Once San Francisco establishes some better receiving talent around him, look out.
8. Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben won’t ever post flashy numbers, but the guy just knows how to lead and win in this league. He’s the engine that keeps that Steelers relevant.
9. Matt Ryan: Ryan played most of 2013 without Julio Jones and still threw for over 4,500 yards. However, there’s still questions about whether or not he can win a big game. At age 29, he may have already hit his ceiling.
10. Joe Flacco: Solid starter, but I’ve never really looked at Flacco as one of the truly elite quarterbacks in the game. The thing he’s missing that guys like Manning, Rodgers, and Brees have is that Flacco isn’t the type of quarterback that can make mediocre guys around him better.
11. Cam Newton: Physical talent was always there for Newton, but in his third year he finally began to figure out what it is to be a leader and winner in the NFL. Still developing, and has a sky-high ceiling.
12. Philip Rivers: Revived his career under Mike McCoy, throwing over 4,400 yards with 32 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions, helping the Chargers back to the playoff scene. And he also did it with absolutely mediocre talent at the receiver position.
13. Nick Foles: Set the world on fire when he was given the opportunity to run Chip Kelly’s offense. Makes smart decisions, accurate passes, and avoids turnovers. However, there are legitimate questions about whether or not he can succeed now that the league will have a year to catch up to him and Chip Kelly’s offense, especially after having lost his top receiver, DeSean Jackson.
14. Eli Manning: Manning had a lot of rough performances last season on his way to tossing a career-high 27 interceptions. Some in New York are beginning to question how much he has left. Defenders will say that Manning played in a rough system last year with a bad offensive line, but no top quarterback throws nearly 30 interceptions by accident. When you have that many picks, that’s a sign that your quarterback is making a lot of poor decisions.
15. Tony Romo: Despite continuing to produce solid statistics (3,800 yards, 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions last year) Romo just can’t ever seem to win a big game. Several of those 10 interceptions also turned out to be back-breaking plays that cost Dallas a couple of games, and by extension a playoff spot. He’s now almost 35, and is coming off of a significant back injury.
16. Matthew Stafford: Makes a living off of working with Calvin Johnson, and turns the ball over too much to be as successful as he could be. He’s thrown 52 interceptions in the last three years. Still very young at age 26, and he still may not have hit his ceiling. Detroit added another nice weapon for him by selecting Eric Ebron in the first round.
17. Robert Griffin: Took a big step back in his sophomore season as he recovered from his knee injury, and also questions about his attitude have arisen as well. Griffin was missing a lot of his explosiveness from his rookie year, and turned the ball over frequently after protecting it so well in 2012 (interception total jumped from five to 12). Also failed to score a single rushing touchdown after accumulating seven in the year before. Griffin has a chance to bounce back and play much better than he did a year ago now that he’s got a new coaching staff and a new top weapon in DeSean Jackson, but durability is also a major concern here.
18. Alex Smith: Efficient, though unspectacular. He’s a smart guy that can run Andy Reid’s offense and take care of the football, throwing just seven picks in 2013. There’s a ceiling to how good he can be, but his record over the last few years with San Francisco and Kansas City speaks for itself: he can help a team win games.
19. Andy Dalton: Set career high’s in yardage (over 4,200) and touchdowns (33), but also in interceptions (20). There’s also serious questions about his ability to win in the postseason with a touchdown-interception ratio of 1-6 in three games. But the good news is that he’s only entering his fourth year, and just the fact that he’s improving statistically and has gotten his team to three straight playoff appearances in a very competitive division/conference speaks well to his upside.
20. Ryan Tannehill: The Dolphins organization may be a mess, but Tannehill made some nice strides in his development, throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and 24 touchdowns. If he can build on those numbers and cut down on his interceptions (17), Miami will win some more games.
21. Josh McCown: Lit up the league for 13 touchdowns with only one interception in eight appearances for the Bears last year, and turned that solid play into a starting job with Tampa where he’ll work with Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and Doug Martin. If his play from last season carries over, he could make the Bucs dangerous again.
22. Carson Palmer: Palmer did some nice things under Bruce Arians in Arizona, but he’s still a turnover machine and the balls that he puts up for grabs helped cost Arizona a playoff spot last year.
23. Sam Bradford: Five years after being selected number one overall, the Rams still waiting for Bradford to make his mark on the NFL. The good news for St. Louis is that he was sporting an excellent touchdown-interception ratio (14-4) in just seven games before going down for the season, so there is still some hope here.
24. Jay Cutler: Cutler has proven over time to be nothing more than an average starter. He’s only thrown over 4,000 yards once in his career (with Denver), and he’s thrown below 3,000 in two of the last three years, and he hasn’t thrown more than 20 touchdowns since 2010. And the Bears recommitted to this guy with a contract extension?
25. E.J. Manuel: Showed some decent promise in his rookie year, and now has Sammy Watkins to play with. A potential breakout guy in 2014, but he’s got stay healthy.
26. Matt Schaub: Schaub was the scapegoat for a lot of Houston’s problems in 2013, and while his level of play has certainly declined, I think he still has a little something left. The problem is that Oakland isn’t exactly a stable situation that can help revive a guy’s career.
27. Chad Henne: I think Henne is better than most give him credit for. He’s been sentenced to some god awful terrible teams in his career. Gus Bradley liked him enough to bring him back to start while Blake Bortles learns the ropes, and I think he could benefit from replenished, fresh receiving corp. that will feature Cecil Shorts, Marquis Lee, and Allen Robinson.
28. Ryan Fitzpatrick (Houston Texans): Journeyman who is the favorite to win starting job, might benefit from playing with Andre Johnson. Had a couple of decent years in Buffalo, but throws too many interceptions (54 in three years as a starter for the Bills).
29. Jake Locker: The only thing that Locker has proven in this three-year career is that he can’t stay healthy. He appeared in just seven games last season, and he’s never played more than 11. While the Titans haven’t given up on him, this is probably his last chance to make or break himself as a starter in this league.
30. Brian Hoyer: Looked good in three starts before going down with an injury, but he’s doomed to fail with all of Cleveland eagerly anticipating the Johnny Manziel era.
31. Matt Cassel: The Vikings liked him enough to bring him back, but he’s just a barely serviceable veteran holding down the job until Teddy Bridgewater is ready.
32. Geno Smith: Smith struggled last year with a 12-21 touchdown-interception ratio, and the now the Jets have put him into a very difficult position by bringing in Michael Vick. Even though Vick will support Smith as the starter, New York will inevitably grow impatient with Geno, and Rex Ryan will also have a quick hook to turn to Vick in order to give him the best chance to save his job.
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